Friday, December 6, 2002

Online booking in Hong Kong improving overall

Friday, December 6, 2002

The Li Ka-shing-backed travel services portal has seen the number of customers visiting its Web site decline but the SAR's online booking industry is registering expanding consumer interest, according to an ACNielsen Netratings report.

The heavily promoted "name your own price" service that allows customers to enter bids for a wide range of travel services is battling an online travel sector which continues to register strong growth. was ranked fifth most popular Internet travel site in Hong Kong with 37,000 visits. Cathay Pacific's Web site was ranked top in the same report with 73,300 unique visitors, up from 26,700 for the same month a year ago.

Hutchison-Priceline marketing manager Ronica Wang defended the firm's market position arguing that most users accessed the site while at work, data not captured in the survey.

"A majority of our users are professionals and they most likely do most of their Web browsing at work," she said.

Travel service sites as a whole chalked up 334,000 customer visits in October, a 61 per cent increase from 207,800 unique visitors for the same period a year ago.

Nielsen//Netratings measures Internet traffic by tracking a permanent panel of at-home users.

Counting the number of visitors to a site is seen as the most accepted measurement of Web traffic rather than page views or hits.

Peter Steyn, a director at Nielsen//Netratings said the firm did not capture at-work surfing. Traffic to online travel sites, including and were rising month-on-month.